“Considering the debacle that he came in with, the tough choices he’s made and how there have been few, if any breaks, he says it himself all the time,” Daley says. “He doesn’t know why he’s as high as 44 percent.”
“On the domestic side, both Democrats and Republicans have really made it very difficult for the president to be anything like a chief executive,” Daley says. “This has led to a kind of frustration.”
The president’s solution? “Let’s figure out what we can do [without Congress] and push the envelope on some of these things,” Daley says.
Daley recognizes that there are three branches of government and the president leads only one of them, but now is the time for him to flex his muscles and show what he can do without the squabbling, ineffective — and far less popular than even he — Congress.
And you can keep policy and politics separate? I ask.
“They can be separate, yeah,” Daley says. “You can say, ‘Look, this may be good policy, but the politics of it may be sh—.’”
And which will the president go for?
“He’ll try to find that middle ground,” Daley says in a bemused tone. “‘How close can we get to it being really sh—— policy or really sh—— politics but getting something accomplished?’”